VAMPIRE STRANGLER
U.S.A. | 1999
Directed by William Hellfire
Starring
Misty Mundae
William Hellfire
Lily Tiger
Color
| 89 Minutes | XXX
Format: DVD (R1 - NTSC | 2-disc set)

After Hours/Factory 2000
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Review by
B.L.
 
 
2
    3   10 = Highest Rating  
Misty's blowjob movie.
   
That's pretty much the be-all and end-all of this 'underground' film, a shot-on-camcorder production made by a group of stoned college kids possessing a great deal more enthusiasm than money or talent. 19-year old Misty Mundae — also known as Erin Brown (Masters Of Horror: Sick Girl, The Rage) — was one of the members of this group, called Factory 2000. It specialized in cheap fetish videos focused on strangulation and sexual degradation, which were sold to finance other interests in music and experimental filmmaking. Vampire Strangler is the most notorious of these fetish features, because in it the future B-movie starlet and scream queen is shown performing real heterosexual sex acts. No softcore simulation here, ladies and germs... That's really Misty, with a real penis in her mouth. Really.
    The film is merely a series of vignettes laced together by a nonsensical, practically nonexistent plot. To wit:
    • A young woman (Misty) gets naked and takes a bubble bath. A figure in a black cape appears in the bathroom and proceeds to hypnotize, then strangle her. (She's made to suck his fingers before being throttled.) The victim writhes and thrashes in the tub, eventually seeming to expire. The caped vampire-like figure disappears and Misty suddenly wakes up. Was it all a dream? Can you believe this scene lasts six minutes?
    • The same young woman is sleeping in bed when a film projector magically appears in the room, turning itself on and running about two minutes of a grainy black & white porno loop. Awakened, our heroine seems to imagine herself as a participant in the fuck footage. The projector then shuts itself off and vanishes, so she tries to go back to sleep. At this point the vampire-like figure enters the room and starts strangling her. As she squirms and struggles her nightie rides up and we see that she doesn't wear panties to bed (or believe in excessive grooming of the bikini area). She's strangled and flashes her muff for three solid minutes — it can seem like an eternity — until, as she appears to gasp her last and finally die, the vampire teleports out of the scene. Misty wakes up, clutching her throat. Another dream?
    • In the film's first dialog scene we see Misty making a phone call, revealing — in a silly fake accent — that her character's name is Lydia and she lives in Transylvania. She rings up her American cousin Johnny (director William Hellfire), announcing that she'll soon be arriving at the Newark airport for a visit. Johnny agrees that this is wonderful news. Cut to Misty doing a bit of roller-skating in a suburban New Jersey neighborhood, then on to Johnny's dingy basement bedroom, where, after a tickling session, he manually stimulates and performs oral sex on her. Misty returns the favor by giving him head. (She's no pro but, for a 19-year old, obviously already quite experienced.)
    • Back to the bedroom after a quick fade to black. A guitar lesson turns into something else entirely as cousins Lydia and Johnny continue their incestuous fling
. While they get it on, another young woman (Lily Tiger) appears in the doorway and voyeuristically watches them, getting all hot and bothered. Misty mounts Hellfire and rides him to orgasm on the squeaky bed; he rolls her over and humps her missionary for awhile. Mystery voyeur woman disappears; her presence is never explained.
    • More sex, pretty much a replay of what we've seen before, albeit shot with an annoyingly wobbly camera. While they're doing it Hellfire starts to strangle Misty. Apparently an asphyxiophiliac, she doesn't offer resistance. (He stops short of killing her.) Meanwhile, some kind of goofy voodoo witchdoctor, in a papier-mβchι mask and waving a tiki torch, dances outside the house.
    • Later the witchdoctor shows up at the door, claiming to represent the Church of the Millennium and asking for a donation. He slips Hellfire a drug which turns him into a cape-wearing vampire in pancake makeup, boxer shorts and tube socks. Misty wiggles around on the bed acting all horny only to be bitten, traditional vampire style, by her transformed cousin.
   
There's a coda to this, a sort of twist ending, that's simply too stupid to bother describing.
    Vampire Strangler really isn't all that difficult to qualify — it's thoroughly awful, failing utterly as both horror and smut. It doesn't have anything to offer, except to those who enjoys interminable sequences of Misty Mundae writhing nude and moaning softly while being strangled, and/or Misty Mundae having conventional sex (minus any money shots) with a skinny, lank-haired hippie-looking guy. Given that said guy was her boyfriend at the time as well as the director, a mildly creepy air of "I can't believe I'm hittin' this so I better record it for posterity" permeates the proceedings, which is only enhanced by the fact that Misty, while devilishly cute, looks disturbingly young. (A legal adult, she could nonetheless easily pass for 15 or 16.)
    Ms. Mundae — or rather, Ms. Brown — is reportedly not happy that this piece of junk has resurfaced now that she's moved on with her career, leaving the world of direct-to-video sexploitation behind. But she needn't be ashamed about what at worst amounts to a youthful indiscretion. (God forbid had any of the stupid things I did at that age been videotaped!) Watching Vampire Strangler merely demonstrates how far she's come in the decade since; with meaty roles in films by Tony Marsiglia and Lucky McKee's Masters of Horror episode she's proven herself to be a genuinely talented actor, not just a cutie with a hot little bod.

Vampire Strangler was previously released on VHS and on DVD in a limited pressing (1,000 copies), although not in the form presented in this new 2-disc collector's edition. The folks at After Hours Cinema (a sub-label of E.I./POP Cinema) have done what they could to make it semi-watchable, not only reediting the pic but adding background music and additional footage (chiefly the magic projector sequence and some stock footage of eastern Europe). They've also cleaned up the full-frame image to the best extent possible, which is not to say that the movie still doesn't look anything other that what it is — a homemade shot-on-camcorder student project lensed in a basement with bad lighting. Dialog doesn't sound good at all; fortunately Misty is the one cast member who is generally easy to understand. (There are only four speaking roles anyway, with few lines.)
    The 89-minute feature is found on Disc 1, along with ten trailers for current and future After Hours releases. These promos are divided into three sections: Previews Vault (Misty vehicles The Erotic Diary of Misty Mundae, Flesh for Olivia, and Chantal), New Features (Darian Caine Exposed, Sexual Delirium, the "Millennium Edition" DVD of Vampire Strangler), and Coming Soon (Sexual Freedom in Denmark, Sexual Liberty Now, The Starlets and its shot-on-video "sequel"). The films in this last group are '70s XXX pics; their trailers are chock-full of hardcore humping and splooge-spurting money shots. The ones for Sexual Freedom in Denmark and Sexual Liberty Now — both "mondo"-type pornos — contain unintentionally hilarious narration. (NOTE: The trio of Previews Vault trailers play automatically whenever the disc loads.)
    Disc 2 contains assorted deleted/isolated scenes from the main feature, three short unrelated films and six Factory 2000 trailers. Among them is an alternate opening to Vampire Strangler that includes additional hardcore footage (involving an actress other than Misty Mundae) and characters not present in the rest of the film. The three shorts — My Property (1998), Vibrating Maid (2001) and My Date With Misty (2002) — all showcase Misty getting naked and kinky, albeit in the strictly softcore style her fans are accustomed to. (Parts of My Date With Misty, a phone sex vignette, were incorporated into the "European" cut of Vampire Vixens available in the Misty Mundae Euro-Vixen Collection.) The trailers are for the ultrasleazy, no-budget Factory 2000 titles Nude Strangler, Infamous Bondage Murders (and its sequel), Shock 2000, Snuff Perversions and Duck! The Colombine High Massacre.
2/27/08
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